Have you ever had a young dream settle behind you like dust on a country road?  Often the dream never surfaces as reality takes precedence over making a living and paying the bills.  For one Texan a job transfer stirred up a dusty dream.

1934 – 2006

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

Don Walser was born in Brownfield, Texas and grew up playing country western music and formed his own small band at age sixteen.  He even opened for Buddy Holly later.  While rock and roll was taking off, he choose to stay in the Texas Panhandle to raise a family instead of going to Nashville to pursue a career in music.   He worked as a mechanic and then as an auditor for the National Guard while he continued to play his music locally with a band he had formed.  A job transfer by the National Guard to Austin, Texas in 1984 brought his dreams closer

With Austin as a substitute for Nashville, Walser continued with his music in a city known for its progressive country style of music and for showcasing new talent.  Ten years later at the age of sixty he retired from the National Guard and devoted his time to his real passion.

 A recording contract soon came his way and he gained a wider audience.   Walser  played and sang mainly the old country and western songs and could yodel like the best of the old-timers.  Surprisingly, he recorded with the Kronos Quartet; his rendition of “Rose Marie” with them is incredible.  A reviewer in Playboy dubbed him “the Pavarotti of the Plains.”  Many awards came to him and his Pure Texas Band; his music was featured in several movies.  He played at the Grand Ole Opry and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.  His last video was “Hot Rod Mercury.”

In 2003 he retired from performing due to health issues.  He died in 2006 of complications from diabetes.

Check out his magnificent version of “Danny Boy.”  Is your dream dusty?



  1. What an interesting story, Jo Nell. I never heard of him, but that means nothing. 🙂 Thank you for the introduction. I do believe he really is the Pavarotti of the Plains. Such a great story. 🙂


    • I only heard about him a couple of years ago on National Public Radio. Guess that means I don’t keep up with the Austin scene, but I do remember the old country songs. There are some advantages to growing older!


  2. What an inspiring story! I agree with Crowing Crone Joss that it’s so wonderful when someone does the things they always dreamed about when they are in their 60s, 70s, or 80s.


  3. That was a wonderful story and a great reminder to us that it is never too late to let our light shine. I so enjoyed hearing his voice. I grew up in a very musical family and an going to search for Don’s recordings, as I LOVE yodeling! Being German immigrants my family yodeled all the time and it is never heard any more. Thanks for this great post…..you made us all think.


    • I am so pleased that you enjoyed the post, Tin Man! There is an official Don Walser web site that I should have put in as a link but you can easily Google it. I never heard of him until a couple of years ago via National Public Radio. Yes, it is never to late to let our light shine! You are a constant inspiration!


    • Thank you! I only discovered him a couple of years ago via National Public Radio. I grew up with country music (I never danced) but I enjoy a variety today.. Don Walser was an inspiration for those of us with late dreams.


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